Doctoral Training Schemes

If you are considering a PhD, our Doctoral Training Schemes offer you extraordinary training opportunities, as well as excellent links and career prospects with leading industry partners.

Each Scheme has been competitively won from The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, The Economic and Social Research Council, and The Natural Environment Research Council.You would enjoy a rigorous, but supportive and vibrant academic environment, working with academics at the forefront of their field. You will also receive strong industrial support, with access to state-of-the-art facilities as well as innovative skills and training to prepare you for the world of work.

While funding is only available to UK and EU students, we welcome international students and support for international applicants can be found here.

Our Schemes can be explored below:

New and Sustainable Photovoltaics

Over the next 30 years the massive expansion of solar electricity is set to continue. The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training: New and Sustainable Photovoltaics aims to meet the new challenges of growth, affordability and sustainability.


Future solar photovoltaic technologies must be competitive enough to withstand market fluctuations, and yet be sustainable in terms of the raw materials and manufacturing methods used. This will demand new approaches, including nanotechnology, low temperature processing and photon engineering coupled with enhancements to emerging thin film and conventional PV device technology.

The Centre will train 70 PhDs to become leaders in both research and industry. It is led by the Universities of Liverpool and Bath, and there is strong industrial support from BAE Systems, Eight19, Echerkon, LSA Ltd, MSolv, NSG, SiliconCPV, Ossila, Oxford PV, PowerVision, Taylor Hobson.

Understanding the Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean

Our aim is to provide a thematic viewpoint, focusing on the atmosphere, ocean and solid Earth, addressing physical, chemical and biological processes at work in our environment.


Our ambition for the joint NERC Liverpool - Manchester - NOC Doctoral Training Program in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheres is to train the next generation of environmental scientists to address major challenges in how the Earth system operates.

Research projects are offered within the themes of the atmosphere, ocean, solid Earth and molecular environmental sciences. These research projects draw on the world-class research expertise in our two Russell group universities, Manchester and Liverpool, and our host partner, the National Oceanography Centre.

Our training is tailored to suit the individual needs of each student, drawing on our strength in each research theme, as well as providing a broader environmental overview to the research challenges in environmental sciences.

Our programme is augmented by other government funded and industrial partners providing additional training, work experience and opportunity for placements.

Global Risk & Uncertainty in Complex Systems & Environments

The EPSRC and ERSC Centre for Doctoral Training on Quantification and Management of Risk & Uncertainty in Complex Systems & Environments will provide workplaces and supervision for PhD students during industrial placements as well as training at summer schools and workshops.


The Centre's focus lies on addressing industrial and societal needs which arise from the rapidly growing complexity of systems of various kinds, their environment and associated risks and uncertainties.

The CDT is supported by 34 industrial partners, non-profit making foundations or national laboratories and 12 overseas university partners. It provides training at the intersection of disciplines such as engineering, mathematics, economics, the environmental sciences and psychology to not only enumerate the risks associated with a particular activity or process, but also to express clearly the meaning of the risk to the general public and decision makers.

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Additive Manufacturing

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing is a new nucleus of research activity focused on next generation multifunctional Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology.


Based at the University of Nottingham, the fundamental and translational research carried out within this world-class Centre will help shape the future national and international AM research agenda.

Its aim is to push forward the development and application of next-generation, multi-material and multifunctional Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing technologies.

The focus of the Centre’s activity is to work closely with businesses to tackle major research challenges, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of AM and its application in industry. The successful commercial exploitation of the Centre’s research in order to meet industrial and national need for cutting edge, low carbon manufacturing technologies is a key priority.

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Next Generation Nuclear

The mission of The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Fission - Next Generation Nuclear, is to develop future research leaders to support the UK’s strategic nuclear programmes, including nuclear legacy clean-up, new build power stations and, defence and security.


We operate in partnership with four other universities including Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield and we work with all the UK’s major industrial and regulatory bodies including Amec, Areva, AWE, EDF, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, and Sellafield Ltd.

Next Generation Nuclear (NGN) offers a range of nuclear related projects across all five of our partner institutions and will carry out research that underpins the safe and extended operation of existing reactors and the future development of safe, secure and sustainable new build nuclear power plant in addition to back end research on spent fuel, decommissioning and waste management.

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Fusion Energy

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy provides training from world-leading experts in a range of fusion-relevant disciplines, including: materials science, plasma physics, nuclear physics, technology, laser physics and instrumentation.


Students have access to a range of fusion energy facilities across the UK, including the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the MAST and JET tokamaks at Culham in Oxfordshire, advanced materials research facilities, the Orion laser and high performance computing facilities. International links provide access to many other fusion devices around the world.

The combination of world-leading experts and world-class facilities creates an outstanding training environment for the next generation of fusion scientists - the generation who will exploit ITER, NIF and other international experiments to make fusion energy a reality.

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North West Doctoral Training Centre

The North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) is the largest Economic and Social Research Centre (ESRC) funded DTC in England, awarding a minimum of 63 new postgraduate studentships per year to support research and training at master’s and doctoral level.


The NWDTC is one of 21 DTCs in the UK and brings together the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester. Studentships are available across the full range of social science disciplines and students have access to research expertise across the three constituent Universities.

Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment

Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE) is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool and York, and the NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) providing doctoral training in the biological components of the natural environment and related disciplines.


Our vision is to develop motivated, confident and multi-skilled PhD students, undertaking cutting edge research and tackling environmental science questions of global significance.

Among the Doctoral Training Partnerships funded by the NERC, ACCE is the only DTP with a clear emphasis on the biological component of environmental research. This biological core, combined with the international standing of the partners in the biological and related fields, makes ACCE a natural choice if you wish to undertake a PhD in biological research and related disciplines.

By including related disciplines beyond the biological sciences, ACCE is also able to provide a multidisciplinary environment to the benefit of our students, bringing together biologists, mathematicians, engineers, geoscientists, analytical chemists, archaeologists and policy experts.

Our PhD students will not only graduate as excellent scientists, but also graduate with skills much sought after in today’s job market.

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Global Eco-Innovation

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation brings together the expertise, resources and global contacts of Lancaster University and the University of Liverpool, together with international commercialisation consultancy Inventya Limited to undertake SME-led collaborative R&D partnerships.


At the heart of the Centre is a team of 50 graduates working on intensive three-year long collaborative research and development projects with North West SMEs. The graduates use these collaborations as the basis of a PhD programme of study and are supported by senior academic members of staff, all internationally-recognised experts in their fields.

In addition to these projects, the Centre provides opportunities for up to 235 additional companies in the Northwest to be supported in their development of new products and services with positive environmental benefits for the global marketplace through shorter (3-6 month) collaborations with a partner university.

By providing structured and supported collaboration, the Centre supports business growth and helps companies overcome barriers to innovation identified by Government. The Centre also acts as a significant demonstrator of the benefits R&D collaborations between universities and small-to-medium sized businesses.

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